OCG Frequently Asked Questions

I.  General Questions

1.  Is Orange Coast Gakuen a new school?
2.  When do classes meet?
3.  Where is your school located?

II.  Questions About Classes

.  At what age can I enroll my child at your school?
5.  What level of Japanese do OCG students have before joining the school?
6.  I am not sure if my child is more suited for the JFL or JHL track.  How is this determined?
7.  If the class to which my child is assigned is too hard (too easy), can s/he change classes? 
8.  How would you describe your curriculum?
9.  What sort of textbooks does OCG use?
10.  How large are your classes?
11.  Can I earn high school credit for foreign language classes taken at OCG?
12.  Do you have classes for high school students with limited or no background in Japanese language?
13.  I’m an adult with no background in Japanese language.  Do you have a class for me?
14.  Do you teach Japanese culture?

III.  Deciding to Enroll

5.  May I take a tour of the school?  Is it possible for my child to sit in a class before deciding to enroll.
16.  We missed the start of classes in the summer.  Can my child still enroll?
17.  When and where should I register my child(ren) for classes?

IV.  Questions about Costs and Parent Responsibilities

8.  How high is your tuition?  Is your school costly?
19.  Do you have a discount for multiple children enrolled in your school?
20.  How much work and participation does OCG require of parents?  I have heard it is a lot.


I.  General Questions

1.  Is Orange Coast Gakuen a new school?
No.  We have been teaching Japanese language to students in the Orange County area for 35 years.  In July 2010, however, we left the Kyodo system to become an independent school.  Since becoming independent, we feel that our school has become even stronger and more vibrant.

2.  When do classes meet?
Classes are held on Saturdays from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

3.  Where is your school located?
Our address is 21141 Strathmoor Lane, in south Huntington Beach (Click here for a map).  Our parents come from all over Orange County as well as from Long Beach and even Riverside County.

II.  Questions About Classes

4.  At what age can I enroll my child at your school?
We accept enrollment at age 3. and ouur oldest regular students are seniors in High School. We also teach language classes for adults.

5.  What level of Japanese do OCG students have before joining the school?
Our system allows us to teach students with different levels of Japanese.  Those with an existing foundation of Japanese and who are exposed to the language at home would be suited for our JHL (Japanese as a Heritage Language) track.  Those without a background might consider JFL (Japanese as a Foreign Language) classes.  See our Curriculum Page for more details.

6.  I am not sure if my child is more suited for the JFL or JHL track.  How is this determined?
Our teachers will make this determination after an initial assessment and after observing your child in class.  We feel it very important to get your child in the right class, so you will certainly be consulted in this decision.

7.  If the class to which my child is assigned is too hard (too easy), can s/he change classes? 
Our teachers are careful to make sure your child’s needs are being met.  We believe students learn best when they are challenged at 10 percent above their current level.  The teachers are constantly re-evaluating the proper class for your child, and will consult with you regularly.

8.  How would you describe your curriculum?
We strive to make our classes as enjoyable as possible.  Rather than rote memorization, our approach stresses topics and themes that are relevant to students.  Our curriculum is also interactive and hands on.  For much more detail, please read our Curriculum Page.

9.  What sort of textbooks does OCG use?
Our JHL classes use a textbook called “Ken-Ken-Pa” that has been specifically written for OCG by our Long Beach advisors.  Our younger JFL classes use the textbook “Jan-Ken-Pon” co-written by our senior advisor, Hiroko Kataoka.  The older JFL classes and the Japanese for High School classes use the Japan Foundation’s textbook, “Erin.”  We will post more information on these books in the near future.

10.  How large are your classes?
In the past our classes have ranged from 5 to 15 students.  We aim for an average class size of 8 to 10.

11.  Can I earn high school credit for foreign language classes taken at OCG?
Yes.  Currently, we have re-certified OCG with all High Schools in the Huntington Beach School District, Irvine Unified School District, and the Garden Grove School District. (The exeption are those schools where Japanese language classes are already offered).  For all other School Districts you will need to consult with the school counselor, as each school has different rules and regulations.

12.  Do you have classes for high school students with limited or no background in Japanese language?
Yes.  We offer Japanese for High School students at all levels of existing proficiency.  We also help our students prepare for the Japanese Credit Test and the Advanced Placement exam.

13.  I’m an adult with no background in Japanese language.  Do you have a class for me?
Yes.  We offer Japanese language classes for adults of all levels of proficiency.  The classes last an hour and a half, and are held on Saturday mornings.

14.  Do you teach Japanese culture?
At OCG, we feel it is important to study both Japanese language and culture.  Therefore, all of our classes include Japanese cultural activities.  We use these activities as a vehicle to teach listening, reading, writing, and grammar skills.

Currently enrolled OCG students may also take Oshuji (Japanese brush calligraphy) classes for an additional nominal fee.

In addition, adults can enroll in a flower arranging class, which meets biweekly on Saturday mornings.

III.  Deciding to Enroll

15.  May I take a tour of the school?  Is it possible for my child to sit in a class before deciding to enroll?
Yes to both.  Please phone (714-235-5559) or e-mail us (orangecoastgakuen@gmail.com) to schedule a tour.  Tours are conducted during normal school hours (Saturdays from 8:45 a.m. thru 12:15 p.m.), and include some time to observe the classes.  For more information, see our Enrollment Page.

16.  We missed the start of classes in the summer.  Can my child still enroll?
Yes, we accept enrollments all year round.  Our curriculum is a unit-based one, so it is possible for us to accept students during the school year.

17.  When and where should I register my child(ren) for classes?
During August and September, just come to our school.  You will see our registration desk as you enter the school.

Starting in October, please call or e-mail to make an appointment to register your child.  See the Enrollment Page for further information.

IV.  Questions about Costs and Parent Responsibilities

18.  How high is your tuition?  Is your school costly?
We consider OCG to be one of the best educational values around.  The basic tuition is $60 per month, plus $15 per month in PA fees.  Families also pay an annual fee of $50 for materials, and $250 as a management fee.  We also charge a one-time registration fee of $100.  When you add it all up, however, the average cost per hour of instruction is between 5 and 7 dollars an hour.

All of our fees and costs are explained on our Enrollment Page.

19.  Do you have a discount for multiple children enrolled in your school?
Yes, we offer a discount on tuition for enrollment of multiple children from the same family.  See our Enrollment Page for more details.

20.  How much work and participation does OCG require of parents?  I have heard it is a lot.
We require only a small amount of work from our parents.  Each family must join one year-round committee, or else help with two of our single-day events.  We have no yard duty (toban) requirement.

We also encourage our parents to work at our annual fundraising event, the Food Fair, to defray all or part of their “School Management Fee,” but they are not required to do so.  Please see the Enrollment Page for a fuller discussion.

It turns out, however, that most of our parents develop friendships at school, and come to value OCG, so at all of our events you will see many parents volunteering to help out.  But most are there because they want to support the school, not because they are required to be there.  The character of our “OCG family” is one of our strongest qualities..